Santa Fe’s Martin lands roster spot with WHL’s Rebels
It’s not uncommon for standout players from New Mexico to leave town to play high levels of hockey.
Quinn Martin left home at 13 to go to prep school in Boston and then spent the past two seasons with the Colorado Thunderbirds 16U AAA team in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League.
Over the summer, he signed with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and made the team as an undrafted 17-year-old for the 2016-17 season.
Speaking to the Red Deer Advocate recently, Martin explained his decision-making process in choosing the WHL over the United States Hockey League (USHL) and a potential NCAA opportunity. The Santa Fe native was selected by the Youngstown Phantoms in Phase I of the 2015 USHL Draft.
“The USHL is definitely an option in the States, but I didn’t really have a good connection with (Youngstown),” said Martin, a 17-year-old forward. “There’s also the NCAA, but the structure of the league didn’t entice me much. I want to be on the ice as much as I can. Everyone hears about the WHL and it’s not a bad place to be. It was my first choice overall. I got to know the coaches here at the prospects camp and it seemed really professional and they have a really good program here.”
The WHL plays a 72-game regular season and the Rebels are owned and coached by members of the famed Sutter family, which starred in the NHL.
“It’s a higher pace and a higher level,” said Martin. “I feel ready and I feel like everything has been great so far. I feel ready, I feel pretty strong in my skates. I just want to try to bring my complete game. I’m not going to try to do anything I’m not or play like the player I’m not. I’m going to play in both ends, hustle, make good plays, try to score, try to get points.
“Try to find my spot on the team.”
— Matt Mackinder